Team Facts & News
In 1986, under the direction of the AAPT Executive Officer, Jack Wilson, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) organized the United States Physics Team for the first time. — AAPT.ORG
REGISTRATON FOR THE 2013 F=MA CONTEST HAS CLOSED!
Simply complete the short registration form on-line or, if utilizing a purchase order, you can download a PDF form, complete and send to the AAPT National Office. We encourage on-line registration. You do not need to supply the names of students who will participate at this time; only the number of students.
Proctoring Requirements for the F=ma and Semi-final exams
Both the F=ma and Semi-final exams MUST be proctored. Ordinarily, the proctor would be the teacher or equivalent substitute.
The requirements for the proctor are that they not be a relative, employer, fellow employee or fellow student, and that they have at least a 2 year degree, though this degree does not need to be related to physics. Librarians would make a suitable proctor, and a candidate may take the test at a library, assuming that the librarian will be able to observe the test taking to ensure the integrity of the process.
Unfortunately, the immediate parents of a home schooled student are not acceptable proctors; in such cases, parents will need to arrange for a non-relative proctor. This individual could be someone from within a home schooling co-op, assuming that they also meet the above criteria.
(PLEASE NOTE: Students cannot register for the exam. A faculty member from the host site must register for students to take the exam).
The fee to participate is $35 ($25 for AAPT members) per school plus:
(Schools will need to return Scantron sheets)
Registration & Exams
Faculty Members have two options for how students may take the preliminary exam:
Students taking the exam by either the paper plus Scantron or WebAssign options must be monitored and all normal exam protocols must be followed. Detailed procedures that should be followed will be provided for those who register their students to take the exam.
WebAssign Practice Exams
WebAssign practice exams are open to everyone without a fee. In order to take the practice exams, see the following instructions:
Students will need the following information to register for the Preliminary Exam:
Faculty Member's AAPT ID Number
Pre-College Host Sites
If you are home schooled a list of CEEB codes for your region is available on The College Board's PSAT/NMSQT Codes for Home-School Students page.
Practicing & Administering the Exam
Students will be able to take three different sample tests to practice how to answer questions in WebAssign. When the exam dates are open, none of the practice exams will be available.
The student's instructor or person proctoring the exam will have the password for the "F= ma" exam and should administer the test verifying that the student took the exam. Students will get just one attempt to answer all 25 questions.
Exam Procedure for Selection of the U.S. Physics Team
There are two exams: the preliminary "F= ma" exam consisting of multiple-choice questions, and a semi-final for the top 300 to 400 students from the "F= ma" exam.
Preliminary Exam: The F=ma contest.
Multiple-choice only, focusing on mechanics; problems can be solved without the use of calculus. Exam time: 75 minutes (allow 90 minutes total to administer the exam). We strongly encourage you to have your physics students participate in this part of the contest and are certain that they will benefit from participating in an international educational forum. NOTE: Any student may take the F=ma exam regardless of their citizenship, they may also take the semi-final exam, but they will be asked to provide their citizenship status for team selection purposes.
The top 300 to 400 students based, on the score on the preliminary exam, will be invited to take this exam. This is a free response exam and may require the use of derivatives or simple integration. The exam covers all topics in introductory physics: Mechanics, E&M, Thermodynamics and Fluids, Relativity, Nuclear and Atomic Physics, and Waves and Optics. Part A: 4 problems, 90 minutes. Part B: 2 problems, 90 minutes. Allow 3.5 hours to administer the exam.
PLEASE NOTE: Students taking the Semifinal Exam may be invited to be a part of the US Physics Team. Students accepting invitations to be a part of the US Team must be willing and able to attend the entire training camp, May 28 - June 8, 2013. They must be able to compete internationally as representatives of the US Team. This requires that they are US citizens or hold a green card and have attended school in the US for at least three years.